Are you planning a roadtrip in an EV? This is what you need to know

“After driving an electric vehicle, I doubt I’ll ever drive a normal car again.” says Mumbai-based Priyans Murarka, who recently completed a road trip from Mumbai to Delhi and back in her new 2022 MG ZS electric vehicle. Murarka is passionate about sustainability and runs a self-driving business that helps customers maintain good air quality in their homes and offices. Until April this year, his family owned a regular internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle for about 20 years. But when they were in the market for a new car, Murarka insisted on an EV. “I had been watching a lot of content on YouTube about electric vehicles. So, I wanted to see what options we have in India. When we checked, there were three options: two cars from Tata and one from MG,” he says. “I hadn’t done many road trips before, but in about two and a half months, I’ve driven close to 9,000 km with the electric vehicle.” Here are Murarka’s practical tips for an EV road trip:

What you need to know before taking an EV road trip:

Murarka and his friend Siddharth Agarwal on the way back from Delhi to Mumbai

Photo: Siddharth Agarwal

it’s completely possible

“I’ve seen people take long road trips with an EV in India and abroad, so I knew it was possible. Once my parents and I got the EV, I was actually inclined to do more road trips because it allows me to travel with a lower carbon footprint. My first road trip with the EV was from Mumbai to Gulbarga in northern Karnataka. Then there was the road trip to Delhi and recently I also traveled to Goa by road.”

Planning is key

“For a road trip in an EV, planning is crucial. Doing your research beforehand helps. Try to become a part of the diverse communities that EV drivers in India have. Staying connected can help you understand how people deal with various problems on the road and who to contact in an emergency. On an MG, pressing a button puts you in touch with customer service during emergencies. I also tried the 3am button and it works great. They provide this service free of charge for 5 years with the car. There are also various Telegram and Discord groups like PluginIndia, TeslaClubIndia, EVWorld and PulseApp where EV drivers can share their experiences, tips, suggestions and queries.”

The EV at a charging station

Photo: Siddharth Agarwal

Know your chargers

“Research charging stations before you travel. There is a global community of electric vehicle charging networks called PlugShare. There are several types of chargers. Fast chargers usually charge your car in an hour and a half. Slow chargers will charge your car overnight. At the very least, you can always charge your car at a 3-prong 15-amp plug. Some of the brands of electric vehicle charging stations that I have used are TataPower, Statiq, ChargeZone and LionCharge. Be sure to check charger reviews and check what services are available at charging stations. There are hotels and hostels that also allow the charging of electric vehicles. Booking.com now has an electric vehicle charger filter to find hotels that allow free or paid charging.”

Be smart with your pit stops

I knew the range of my car because I had taken a road trip in it before. I was always on PlugShare and had my route mapped out. We planned our lunch stops based on what time we were leaving and the estimated time it would take to get to the next destination. Most of the chargers in India are on the roads, around the food malls. We made sure to eat our meals while the car was charging. That way you won’t waste time stopping to load and eat separately.

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